Gaps, Resources, and Potentials for Growth in Comparative Engineering Education Research

Xiaofeng Tang, Jennifer M. Case , Andres Felipe Valderrama Pineda

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Comparative education studies educational phenomena in more than one country and uses the country as the unit for comparison. Comparative research not only generates knowledge about education abroad but also brings forward new insights into education systems in the researchers’ home countries. This chapter provides a brief overview of the evolution of comparative education and outlines its three main approaches – scientific, ameliorative, and interpretive – for comparing education systems across countries. The chapter then surveys the extent to which recent publications of engineering education research (EER) in three world languages (English, Chinese, and Spanish) have utilized a comparative approach and presents exemplar EER studies that illustrate each one of the three main approaches of comparative education. Based on an assessment of the strengths and limitations of comparative approaches for EER, the chapter lays out potential contributions of comparative engineering education research and calls upon engineering education researchers to embrace comparative perspectives and approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Engineering Education Research
EditorsAditya Johri
Number of pages21
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9781032262765, 9781032262758
ISBN (Electronic)9781003287483
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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